Archer City ISD is living proof that small schools produce highly successful students. That is the message ACISD faculty and staff want their students to realize as they held the first career fair last Friday, October 25th for all junior high and high school students. Archer City Alumni and those with ties to Archer City took much time and effort to present students with their own inspiring stories, encouraging them to “Dream Big and Plan Accordingly,” the theme of this year’s Career Fair.

A morning assembly began with a video presentation from Archer City High School alumni and actress Angela Kinsey. Kinsey walked the students through her dream and struggles, leading to her successful career as an actress. Best known for her role in the long running television series “The Office,” Kinsey told students, “Don’t let anyone tell you what you can do or what your worth is. You get to decide that. You get to decide who you are going to be in this world. Education is so important. You are going to meet tough challenges, but see it through. You will be so glad you did.”

Brad Pippin also held a presentation for junior high and high school students focusing on the “Big Dream Plan.” Brad Pippin is a 1984 graduate of Archer City High School and a 1988 graduate of West Point. He served for over 25 years in the Army, retiring as a Colonel. Pippin’s message to students included that regardless of your circumstances in life, there are opportunities for everyone.. He shared his story of a high school student at Archer City and his personal circumstances that could have led him in a different direction had he not taken advantage of opportunities available. “Don’t underestimate the scholarship opportunities available for advanced education. Opportunities for STEM degrees present myriad opportunities for successful careers,” he said.

Throughout the day, students attended presentations in different career fields of interest to them. The number of Archer City alumni presenters representing such a wide array of occupations were numerous, providing students with a tremendous opportunity. Most importantly, students learned that no matter who you are or what your circumstances are in life, it is important to pursue your dream. Archer City ISD alumni shared their successful careers as small school graduates. Whether it be a cosmetologist or Colonel, Court Reporter or Engineer, Funeral Director or Actress, the sky is the limit and the opportunities are there for those with determination to do what it takes to pursue their aspirations.

Sophomore Ty Bates said of the Career Fair, “It didn’t give me any ideas of what I definitely want to do with my life, but it gave me knowledge of things I am interested in.”

Junior Kayli Mahler said she really liked the sessions she attended on nurse practitioner, social worker/counselor and athletic training. She was really inspired by Shelley Peterson who graduated from small town Throckmorton High School and did amazing things with her life.

Rachael Arbuckle, a 2008 graduate of Archer City has made a successful career in cosmetology and share her knowledge with the students interested in this field. “It was such a rewarding experience to be able to speak with students that are thinking about their future. It is very important to realize that college isn’t for everyone and trade school can make you equally successful if not more. It is important to do what you enjoy.”

Bethann Oswald, ACISD District Technology Director, the organizer of the impressive Career Day was pleased with the way it turned out.

She said, “We have received great feedback from all involved, staff, students, alumni....everyone. It was a great day as an educator. It was fun to see the networking between alumni that didn’t know each other before (ie Brad Pippin and Pat Dayton).”

School Counselor Leslie Graham was very pleased with the fair. She helped Oswald with the student organization for the event.

As a former ACISD teacher and observer this time, I must say this was an impressive affair. And the willingness of so very many alumni to take the time to prepare and travel back to Archer City speaks volumes for the character of these fine men and women.

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